Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 1-21-2013
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Letters 1-21-2013

- January 21st, 2013  

Email your letter to: info@northernexpress.com

Please keep your letter under 300 words (one page).

Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification.

Swim death mystery

I am concerned about the drowning death of Arianna Alieto in the Northern Michigan University swimming pool after the team worked out in the pool on November 30.

On January 16 I met an NMU student I hadn’t met before and asked her how the women’s soccer team members were doing and what services were available to students experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress. I understood her to say that NMU students were told that Arianna Alieto was known to have left the locker room with her team mates and that Campus Public Safety was still investigating the matter and awaiting the results of the autopsy.

Assuming that Arianna showered and changed and then left the locker room with her team mates, I cannot help but wonder how an 18-year-young college freshman with a knee injury and epilepsy and possibly living away from home for the first time in her life managed to return unnoticed to the locker room, change back into her swim suit, return to the locked pool area, and drown beyond the point of resuscitation in the 35 minutes between the time a lifeguard was reported to have locked and secured the pool area and the time her body was seen in the pool.

Could she have taken a key to the pool area or jimmied the lock? I also wonder where her clothes and personal effects were stashed when her body was found.

I am calling for the truth to be brought to the light so that everyone involved can process what happened in a safe and healthy way, forgive ourselves and each other, correct our mistakes, and move on together in peace.

Rachelle Giuliani • Marquette

Right to Work myths

So called “right to work” (RTW) laws are best understood as state government interference with privately negotiated contracts to weaken and defund unions.

A real “right to work” is not at stake anywhere in the USA. Since 1947, it has been unlawful for private employers and unions to require workers to join a union to obtain a job.

It is also unlawful to require workers to become full-fledged members of a union to keep a job. All that can be required is what the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1963 decision called “financial core membership,” which is solely the obligation to pay the reasonable costs of union representation.

It is also well-established constitutional law that no part of these “financial core” dues may be used to fund the partisan political activity of unions.

What is at stake is the union’s right to be paid for its services in those shops where a majority of workers have chosen union representation. The type of clause outlawed by the new Michigan law, often called a “union security” or “union shop” clause, requires workers to pay dues after their 30th day of employment.

Workers obtain and keep their jobs without regard to their union status or preferences; their sole obligation is to pay dues after they have been hired.

Thus RTW has nothing to do with worker rights -- unless you believe in the right to freeload.

Unions need such a clause to stay in business because they negotiate “collective services and goods.” These include a written contract with just cause discipline standards and a grievance procedure, plus improved wages and conditions that extend to all workers in the unit, not just union members or those who paid their dues.

For most of what a union tries to do -- secure higher wages, better hours, a safer work site, retirement benefits and due process for disciplined workers -- there is no feasible way for the union to limit negotiated improvements to those who pay dues.

Indeed, the Supreme Court held in the 1940s that whenever a union obtains authority to negotiate on behalf of a group of workers, it has a corresponding legal duty to represent fairly all within that group, whether they are supporters or opponents of the union. A “fee for service” concept cannot work when services are and, under the law, must, be provided to all, whether they are willing to pay the fee for not.

When opponents insist on a right to a free ride on union representation, they usually claim the rhetorical high ground of liberty and job growth to conceal a more politically partisan motive -- to deprive unions of a funding mechanism so that they no longer can play a useful collectivebargaining role in our society.

It is an inherent contradiction to argue that RTW has nothing to do with collective bargaining rights while also arguing that employers are attracted to such states. Business decisions on where to relocate are more often based on things like transportation access, proximity to market, land costs, business taxes, infrastructure, the education and skill levels of the available workforce. RTW status is far down the list - if it all.

No business groups, and certainly not the auto industry, were demanding freeloader status for Michigan workers as a business method to grow jobs.

Finally, 60 years of RTW in the South has proven that such union defunding has only resulted in lower working class standards of living.

Leonard Page • via email

The debt debate

I was sorry to read that Stephen Tuttle hasn’t figured out the dynamic underlying the deficit battle.

The purpose of that fight is to impose austerity and cut federal programs in an effort to balance the budget, a program that is clearly failing in the European Union.

As economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz have repeated, a depression is not the time to cut government spending: it is the time to increase it. That is the way we claw our way out of this mess: spending on school teachers, infrastructure improvement, and education for the young.

Stephen, who do we owe the money to? Not the Chinese who hold eight% of the treasuries. We owe the money to ourselves with the Fed, pension funds, and private investors financing our debt. Read Krugman’s book, “End This Depression Now!” and discover how the federal deficit is nothing like household debt.

Richard Fidler •TC

Stop the violence

If “your” woman hits you, call the police.

FIRST! You may have one chance to avoid going to jail.

Don’t imagine that you can handle it yourself. Don’t imagine that anyone will ever listen to your side of the story if you don’t take it to the law right away.

The Women’s Resource Center will not help you, they will only protect the abused woman. She hits you and that makes you a criminal. The love is gone. Get out now, and make a statement to the police. Go to www. batteredmen.com. Stop the sexism. Stop the violence.

Eric Pyne • Frankfort

The value of whole foods

Thank you for the whole food story featuring Dr. Mary Clifton. As a certified instructor for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) Food for Life programs, I can attest to the dramatic health improvements people gain from eating real food. I’ve had students get relief from arthritis pain and step away from their meds, elimination of migraines, diabetes reversal, significant drops in blood pressure and cholesterol, and that is just a start.

I know it can seem overwhelming or confusing to make these dietary changes, but one step at a time and they can get there. (If I can do it anyone can!) A great start is watching “Forks Over Knives” (available through Netflix).

Sherry Davis • TC

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